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any two or more related people living in one household.

Nuclear Family

a family consisting of a husband and wife and their children.

Family of Orientation

the family into which one is born

Family of Procreation

the family that develops when one marries and has children.

Extended Family

relatives of the nuclear family who are economically and emotionally dependent on each other.

Matriarchal Family

family in which the mother has formal authority and dominance.

Patriarchal Family

family in which the father has formal authority and dominance

Egalitarian Family

family in which both sides of the extended family are regarded as equal.

Binuclear Family

family pattern in which children are part of two homes and two family groups.


a legal contract with certain rights and obligations.

Socioeconomic Status

rank or position within a society based on social and economic factors.

Ascribed Status

social class, rank or position determined by family lineage, gender, birth order, or skin color.

Achieved Status

social class, rank or position, determined by education, occupation, income, and/or place of residence.

Traditional Society

a society that relies on customs handed down from past generations as ways to behave.

Modern Society

a society that looks to the present for ways to behave and is thus responsive to change.


communal, cooperative, close, intimate, and informal interpersonal relationship.


associative, practical, objective, and formal interpersonal relationships.


emphasis on interdependent relations, social responsibilities and the well being of the group


emphasis on individual fulfillment and choice.


rules, patterns, or standards that express cultural values and reflect how individuals are supposed to behave.


a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things.

Protestant Ethic

belief in individualism, thrift, self-sacrifice, efficiency, personal responsibility, and productivity.


any demand that exceeds a person's ability to cope.


enabling individuals to have control over resources affecting them.

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